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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  January 24, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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ostrich plume on his head. that's a segment you should do every friday. all right. moving along, the republican party is trying to put a positive spin on 2013. the only thing getting in the way of that, the republican party. it's friday, january 24th, and this is "now." >> uncle sugar. >> thank god for uncle sugar. >> we must be very conscious of tone. >> and choice of words. >> women can't control their libedo. >> if we want to win elections, we need to start delivering women's votes. >> the comments were inappropriate. >> i know if we would have used
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the words that he did. >> i wouldn't have said it quite like that. >> why are we having a debate about contraception? i thought that was settled. >> we all know the gop has to get out of our comfort zone. >> women in my household, are saying why are these men talking about my reproductive system? the republican party is wrapping up its three-day winter meeting this evening. a conference with the can-do theme of building to victory. this morning the chairman had a message for his fellow republicans. we did it, whatever it is. >> one year ago, we came together and said we were going to do things differently.
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we accomplished a lot together in just one year. >> if by a lot, he means failing to pass immigration reform, shutting down the government, nearly defaulting on the nation's credit, and further ali alienating women and minorities? then yes. huckabee suggested that the other party wants to control women's libidos. >> i said many times before the policies and principals of this party are sound. however, as we look to grow the ranks of our party, we must all be very conscious of tone and choice of words when we communicate those policies effectively. >> tone and choice of words.
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for the chairman, tone is one of those things that is highly relative and almost immediately after making remarks that many would consider tone deaf, governor huckabee fund raised off of them. huckabee spoke of his scarlet letter with unrestrained glee. i'm the worst conservative ever. he added, guess what liberals, if you can't stand to look at yourself in the mirror, get ready for more of this talk because conservatives are going to continue to fight back against your destructive policies towards women. from the party that has targeted poor and sick and americans by denying the expansion of
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medicaid coverage, perhaps the party that needs to look in the mirror, perhaps that party is mike huckabee's own. joining me now is karen finney and casy hunt. the behavior is only matched by the fact today that in 2005, mike huckabee designed a lot that -- including church affiliated organizations like hospitals and universities. >> he thought the women of arkansas could control their libido. the top line coming out of this meeting is they're focused on trying to change the mechanics. hiring more people, getting more technology. not only actually -- they don't think they need to change their
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policies. it's not just about how you talk about it, right? hv7, there's not a good talking about whether the irs gets to decide if you're raped and therefore you can write that off of your insurance. but they also pretty much focused on, again, all these sort of veneers without wanting to say, what are we doing wrong? >> it is not just tone. you have been at the rnc and you're still standing. may i congratulate you, my friend. this has gone largely under discussed. the calendar changes. specifically, they are making sure that iowa and new hampshire and nevada have their primaries in february. in state that jumps the line, stricter penalties will be imposed on that state.
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after march 14th, it becomes a winner takes all. the convention is being bumped back to late june or mid july. what this tells me is that the biggest hurdle to republicans winning the white house is self-acknowledge the republican party. they do not trust themselves to have a long vetting process. what's been the reaction over there? >> there was a little bit of a tussle today in the republican party on whether this is the right thing to do? mitt romney was battling rick santorum for months. he said he would veto the dream act as he was trying to win the caucuses in iowa. this whole process is designed to condense the amount of time the nominees are going to be
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running. there was some emphasis on saying we need to make sure this is long enough that our candidates are vetted. there was a clear interest in protecting whoever obabecomes t nominee. romney spent all summer in 2012 not being able to answer attacks in the obama campaign -- they cast him as an out of touch p t plutocrat. >> i would say mitt romney was passive and out of touch because he was. you can join the calendar, but he still would be out of touch. >> we tried this at the dnc. we added south carolina and nevada. we had the longest primary process in the history of
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politics, right? >> yeah. >> your candidates should get better and stronger. if your candidate gets worst and you get more afraid of what they're going to say, that's kind of a change to say, let's limit the amount of exposure this person is going to have. it's all about less time on television. >> their candidates can't stand up to the scrutiny by their own party. cathy has been tapped to deliver the republican state of the union response. it seems convenient to have he ever deliver -- although she is a rising star in the party. i think it is ironic on the heels of this discussion that rand paul is also giving the rand paul to the state of the union and mike lee is giving the tea party response to the union.
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if you need anymore evidence that this party is fractured, look at the three different responses to the state of union. >> there have been conservatives who have come out and defended him aggressively. but the people i have talked to here say, that's not how we should be talking about this point. cathy is someone who is well liked and has strong ties with the republican establishment. she's one of the few high-profile women they have in office. the message that she's likely to deliver is probably going to differ significantly from lee and rand paul. you saw some of that fragmentation here at the meeting. they passed a resolution that
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condemns the surveillance programs. that's divided the party because establishment types are more inclined to support those surveillance program. they were george bush's idea in the first place. >> watching republicans to broaden their appeal has been like trying to cover a bedroom floor with a poorly cut carpet. there you have it. you need mcrogers holding down one part of the carpet and mike lee in another part and rand paul holding another part. >> got to clean up the mess. >> i love the new redecoration. that's all we've got. thank you both, ladies. coming up, there is no quit in john boehner, at least when it comes to his favorite things.
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we'll talk cigarettes and merlot. and why the gop can stop printing those boehner for president signs just ahead. first, while republicans continue to litigate the right to choose, texas grapples with a real issue of the fate of one woman's body. we'll have that next on "now." [ female announcer ] winter is hard on your face. the start of sneeze season and the wind-blown watery eyes. that's why puffs is soft. puffs plus are dermatologist tested to be gentle and they lock in moisture better. so you can always put your best face forward. a face in need deserves puffs indeed.
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bank from almost anywhere with the citi mobile app. citi, with you every step of the way. right now in ft. worth, texas, the case of a pregnant
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woman being kept on life support against her and her family's wishes is going before a judge. after weeks of debate. the woman, a 33-year-old, has been on life support since november 26th when she collapsed on her kitchen floor from a pulmonary embolism. the county hospital has kept her on rventilators for several wees now. she is pregnant and her fetus remains alive. she'll be kept on life support until the fetus is viable. the fetus is now 22 weeks. whether that law applies to
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pregnant women who are brain dead remains another question. when writing the law, it never would have occurred to us that anything in the statute would apply to anyone who is dead. the family has already sued the hospital. the attorneys have described the fetus as distinctly abnormal with heart problems and water on the brain. the anti-abortion movement has been making changes to their strategy. the case poses a difficult question for the movement that pretends to have the interest of mothers at heart. who's life is truly more valued? that of a grown woman or her fetus? while income inequality is
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likely to be among the many items on president obama's agenda, it remains to be seen on what is on the gop's list. investigation is the current name of the political game. we'll discuss the sorry state of american politics next on "now." , you're not doing anything as fast as you used to, which is funny, 'cause i still do it better than her. you know, i don't think i was meant to sweep. it's a little frustrating. look. [ zach ] i can't help out as much as i used to. do you need help? [ doorbell rings ] let's open it up. it's a swiffer sweeper. it's a swiffer dusters. it can extend so i don't have to get on the step stool. i don't know how it stays on there. it's like a dirt magnet -- just like my kids. [ afi ] this is a danger zone. that is crazy. ah-ha-ha! [ zach ] yeah. no, this definitely beats hanging out on a step ladder. what's up, baby? body pain?
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for those who believe in the purity of public service, it is a dark day in american politics. politicians facing charges, investigations, and inquiries, enough to make idealists an endangered species. let's begin with bob mcdonnell, arraigned today on public corruption charges.
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he and his wife pleaded not guilty and were released. they await trial on 14 counts of conspiracy and fraud. let's go up the road to lush garden of political investigations that is new jersey. the justice department is investigating robert menendez. it then there's chris christie. there are no questions today about christie's tie to the top contractor for hurricane sandy recovery. the christie administration quietly fired the contractor effective monday after widespread complaints including
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inept management, poor communication, and long delays. hgi won its contract last may. after the law firm made a $25,000 donation to the republican governor association headed by chris christie. the administration has offered no reason as to why the contract was terminated. this comes as federal prosecutors subpoena christie campaign a campaign. >> hey, alex. >> hello, my friend. i have to say amid all of this swirl, what do you make of this moment in american politics? usa today says it doesn't take much of an ethical compass to
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determine that the gifts aren't the right call. what do you think? >> i think we're living in an age we can find out anything that anyone is doing. we're hyperaware of what people are doing. we've seen scandals like these happening for decades now. i just think that we're seeing them happen, i guess, more and more frequently because we're so connected and wired. we're a whole lot more transparent today than say we were during the watergate days. >> that's a decidedly positive note. we're learning today also that mcdonnell was offered a plea deal to face one felony charge.
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his wife would not have had any charges. he rejected that deal. what are your thoughts about that? he clearly thinks he did nothing wrong here. >> if you look at it from his perspective, he's looking at the virginia state ethics law and wondering if he can get off. it's fairly loose law. what he did could be argued that while it was cd and had the veneer of being corrupt, there was no quid pro quo. he was promoting a state business and it's every governor's responsibility to promote state businesses. his legal team is saying we're going to take damage to your reputation, but you're not going to be convicted of any wrong doing. where it gets complicated is if he and his wife impeded the
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investigation. >> in terms of terry mccaul -- do we have a sense the virginia ethics law may change in all this? >> oh, yes. you don't have any cap on how much you can give a politician in terms of a donation. he's quiet on this because he's new to office. for him, it makes since to try to avoid this while takes the high ground and pushing an ethics bill. >> in terms of bob menendez, his office is saying that they didn't know these two businessmen were being
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investigated. they believed the family has been politically persecuted in ecuador. we're not aware of any inquiry into the senator's actions on this matter. this has been a big deal in ecuador. are we to believe what the senator is saying? this is not the only investigation into his activities. >> you would think that if the senator is going to make phone calls on behalf of constituents to high ranking people at the state department and the department of homeland security that someone on his staff would do maybe a google search or some kind of research to find out exactly who these people are that you're going to stick your neck out for. in his statement, he also says we get hundreds of thousands of inquiries from constituents all the time. well, these two people aren't exactly your typical constituents.
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if it's a big story in ecuador, and there's people on the record saying because they allegedly embezzled money, i'm now destitute, you would think that would concern him and his staff. >> you would think. he writes listening to in nonapologies and finger pointing brings to mind george bush's culture if it feels good, do it. if you have a problem, blame someone else. we're quoting george bush as if we're nostalgic for those vows of purity, but i don't know if it's possible to change that culture of whatever feels good and whatever is expedient in the current political climate and reality wins.
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your thoughts. >> there's a lot of money in politics. and politicians are spending almost every waking hour at this juncture trying to fund raise. when you have a system that rewards people for raising money, they end up being reelected, you have potential problems like you do. until we address the issue of too much money being in the political system, that's going to be a problem. wi >> thank you both, gentlemen. after the break, the speaker of the house sits in on the tonight show couch and explains why america will never see a boehner presidential campaign. [ female announcer ] nature valley soft-baked oatmeal squares.
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john boehner, the speak of the house who all too rarely reminds the extreme wing of his party that he is speaking of the house, just revealed the one issue on which he has taken a firm and principaled stand. hint, it is not immigration reform. >> you ever think of running for president? >> no. >> no? >> no. i like to play golf. i do drink red wine and smoke cigarettes. i'm not giving that up to be president of the united states. >> it was straight no-chaser. >> my name looks like beaner, bonner, boner. >> there's no tanning beds. >> nothing. >> this gop fighting, is it the worst you've ever seen it? >> well, maybe it is. it's bad. >> will the speaker submit to a
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lie detector test on the spray tan thing? that's what i want to know. he had one more nugget to share. >> who do you like in 2016 for the republican side? >> i'm not endorsing anybody. but jeb bush is my friend and i think he would make a great president. >> not saying. just saying. coming up, the dow takes a big friday dive. we'll get the latest market jabs. it was once t-- the golden stat undergone a tectonic shift to the left. that's next. jim and his daughter grow top grade fruits and vegetables
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littlism in the nation's capital, there is some good news out west. california's democratic governor has led a remarkable turnaround since he came to office in 2011. its credit was poor back then. after being left with a $27 billion tab from the governor, brown set about reversing the state's fiscal fortunes. he's been really successful. california now has a $4.2 billion projected surplus. >> a million new jobs since 2010. budgetary surplus in the billions. in the billions. but don't spend it. that's the point. >> still the state is now out of the woods. in addition to 8.3% unemployment
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and out of control prison population that's at 144% capacity, california is also experiencing the worst drought in its history. it's forced governor brown to declare a state of emergency and urge residents to cut their water use by 20%. there's little room for debate on what's causing the state's problems. >> we can take this drought as a stark warning of things to come. human beings are changing are climate. >> in a state where 38% of the population is hispanic, california has unsurprisingly been a pioneer in dealing with the nation's changing demographi demographics. >> we have 25% of the nations foreign born and we're the first state to have a plurality of
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families of latino origin. california is the state where immigrants can dream and drive. >> leading the fight against climate change and same-sex marriage inequality, and adding another string to its bow, fiscal responsibility. joining me now gavin. it is a joy and a pleasure to have you on the show. >> thank you. >> i have to ask you with ever round of accolades, some people say, wait a second. if you look at the reasons why there's a surplus, the richest 1% of californians account for a third of the tax space. so the question to you is -- how much of this is democrats and democratic leadership and how much of this is just the natural
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part of a boom and bust cycle? >> i think it is a combination of both, candidly, but i appreciate the setup. you said everything i could possibly say about our state. we had 12.4% unemployment. we had folks like rick perry out here every week on hunting trips, hunting for jobs, talking about california dreams exploding and disappearing. here we are with surpluses. our unemployment still high at 8.3%. no state is producing as many jobs. we've had the benefit of the macro turnaround. a legislature has held the line against difficult choices and tough cuts and a public that said it's time for reform.
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there were three significant ballot initiatives that have helped advance the state. >> you have a super majority. democrats own california. a lot of people will look to that and say, it's great, what's been done in the state. when we talk about one-party ruled states, there are 36 of them in the united states. 23 held by republicans. 13 by democrats. that's the largest number in six decades. if you look at what happens in places like wisconsin, it is distressing to some people who would like to see more of a balance to power. how much does that worry you, the one-party control? >> it does. every statewide office is held by a democrat. i don't think that's healthy
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either. it took one or two people to stop the budget or process. we used to have a two-thirds threshold to pass the budget. now it is a simple majority. if we don't pass a budget on time, we don't get paid. income inequality, this blue and red county divide, not just state divide, i think it's very healthy. that's one of the other reforms that was healthy voting was redistricting. i think this perhaps more than anything else has sparked some more confidence and a more robust debate in the state. >> what's the mood of the republicans?
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the republicans appear to have no power. they're not needed for any votes in the legislature. republicans have praised the fiscal prudence here. it would seem the democrats in being such police about -- i'm using that almost with negative connotations -- in having gone from a deficit to a surplus, have almost neutralized the main talking point. what is the mood? >> it's difficult. i think everybody has to look back. it's an ominous point. it all began with pete wilson, the former governor, and prop 1 87. i think it's an incredibly important point now. you're seeing a republican party
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that can't field any real opponent to governor brown. in fact, the republican they put up interestingly is pro-choice, progay marriage. he was arguing for the same fiscal discipline that the governor is proving and advancing. it's a difficult time for republicans, but they're going to have to reconcile this demographic change. 76% of incomining kindergartene this year were nonwhite. >> as we wrap up here, how optimistic are you that california will be the model for immigration reform broadly in terms of a national policy? >> we're doing everything we can outside of being a sanctuary
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state. a lot of cities are sanctuary cities. as you noted, a driver's license bill was finally advanced. we've been aggressive on our own version of the dream act here in california. same thing on gun safety and women's rights and advancing the rights of transgenders and raising our minimum wage. we're trying to do our best to lead by example and prove that progressives can govern and they don't have to be the borrow and spend party, but we can be the party of the future. >> your honor, lieutenant governor, it is about nine degrees here on the east coast. i didn't need that much more incentive to want to be in california, but you gave me
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several great reasons. >> thank you. after the break, just when you thought arizona's prospects couldn't get any worse than jan brewer. along comes joe arpiyo. let's take a look at how stocks stand going into the weekend. you have the dow dropping by about 318 points. it's back below the 16,000 mark. the s&p was off by 38 points. the nasdaq down [ male announcer ] if you can clear a crowd but not your nasal congestion,
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if you thought the state of
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arizona couldn't do worse than jan brewer as governor, think again. joe arpaio, the six-term office.
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every year, my supporters encourage me for running for governor. i will have to give it serious consideration. arpaio would join a crowded field, one that could include governor jan brewer herself. she may soon challenge the term limit laws to run again. arpaio versus brewer, a dream matchup. the primary is august 26th. make it happen, arizona. president obama's latest state of the union takes on a whole new level of importance. that's next. i have the flu, i took medicine but i still have symptoms. [ sneeze ] [ male announcer ] truth is not all flu products treat all your symptoms. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus severe cold and flu speeds relief to these eight symptoms. [ breath of relief ] thanks. [ male announcer ] you're welcome.
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our future is hopeful. our journey goes forward and the state of our union is strong. the state of our union is getting stronger. we can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger. >> the state of our union is -- on tuesday president obama will deliver his fifth state of the union address to congress and the american people. while no one knows exactly what he will say, the general consensus will be his focus on inequali inequality. there will also be a push to raise the minimum wage and a renewed focus on energy. the state of the gop is hardly united. joining me now is michael scherer.
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it's always great to you see. let's preview the state of the union. i want to bring up an interesting point that sam stein writes about. in 2009, the president was folkfolk -- focused on inequality. he quotes peter saying, looking back, i remain disappointed we were not able to embrace with gusto and remain committed to the barbell approach. i thought that was really interesting and very telling that the president's own advisers felt like he caught got up in this debt reduction. we're seeing a strong pivot back to fairness and inequality in
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the country. >> this issue of inequality has always been at the center of their message. both parties look at the polls and the country and they see the defining issue is the median household income that goes from 2000 until today. the middle part of america is not improving and has not seen improvement for a decade. it's what everybody wants to address. obama feels that on the issues and on the politics, he will win this argument. it's what helped him win in 2012. as he pivoted to a more embat e embattled year, i expect it to be more combative speech to take this issue up a notch. he raised a lot of these points last year about issues of not
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getting fair pay for fair work and things like that. he did it in the context of now let's work together. this will be we're charging ahead. the american people should come with me. >> we're seeing a white house that is going to take no prisoners on the issue of income inequality. if you look at the polling, democrats 90%. 69% independent. republicans are at 45%. this is a winning political strategy. i want to ask you about the news of the last hour. -- has been tapped to head the office of political strategy and outreach today, which seems like a strategic move on the white house's part. >> he was to oversee the opinion
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research operation. he was the guy who was charged with bringing all the polling and focus groups together. i think that's very much the role he's going to have here. he's going to be taking a national role, running the focus groups, and saying to democrats around the country here's the unifying message we need to keep hitting. this is going to be a very difficult year for us. in 2010, democrats didn't do quite a good job. the message of that year was the ditch. >> you're ov-- we love it when u do bet. thank you as always for the expertise, my friend. that is all for now. i'll see you back here monday at
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4:00 p.m. eastern. "the ed show" is up next. good evening, americans. and welcome to "the ed show." live from detroit lakes, minnesota. let's get to work. >> it's not good enough to be the party that shows up once every four years five months before an election. the truth is this work is never done. this issue of inequality. >> for many years, a central theme on this ed show. >> when the federal government tries to equalize outcomes, we're going to end up equally worse off. when the federal government tries to equalize outcomes, we're all going to end up equally worse off. >> the clock is ticking.

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